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Chamber of Commerce endorses Corridor report

Press Release – 9 March 2006

Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce fully endorses the Western Corridor report

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomes the release of the Proposed Western Corridor Plan Hearing Sub-committee Report. Based on the reports’ findings, Chamber President Simon Arnold has called for the regions’ decision makers to unanimously get in behind its recommendations – recommendations which argue strongly for the inclusion of Transmission Gully into the Western Corridor Proposal.

“What we have at long last is an objective and representative study of what the region actually needs and wants, and more importantly, what is achievable in the way of a long term and comprehensive transport solution”, commented Simon Arnold. “This is a thorough and responsible piece of work. The report has taken into account a plethora of information and views and has, in our opinion, produced a platform that Transit, the Government and the regions Mayors must accept and proceed with in a unified manner. The processes that have been employed here and subsequent findings can not be ignored by our elected leaders.”

This statement by the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce echoes that of the authors of the report who call for political leadership nationally, regionally and locally to address the regions infrastructure deficiencies – deficiencies that have come about as a result of decades of underinvestment in the regions’ roads according to Mr Arnold.

“A reliable roading system is crucial to our regions’ continued economic growth and prosperity. As has been identified in the report, current levels of reliability, congestion, community uncertainty and safety are undermining regional and national economic growth and activity. This report paves the way to address these issues.”

A key element of the report is it’s highlighting of real concerns over the ability to proceed with the planned Coastal Route Upgrade, citing numerous reasons why gaining consent for this process looks to be fraught with difficulty.

“The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has long asserted that the Coastal Route Upgrade would not be a viable option in terms of the consent process and this report certainly supports this stance,” stated Mr Arnold. “We are also very pleased to see that significant work has been done to re-evaluate some of the cost / benefit analyses that have in the past been unfairly calculated and presented. It is encouraging to see the report incorporating issues of world best practise into its analysis and in doing so taking a more pragmatic approach to future proofing our region’s infrastructure.

“The best thing for the region to do now is to get on with the job of building Transmission Gully. As the report has identified we now have a pathway forward that is affordable, consentable, and secure and will promote regional economic growth both now and into the future.”

ENDS

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